Recently the soccer club known as Toronto F.C. made not only national headlines in the world of sport, but international headlines, signing Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Jermain Defoe, as well as United States and former A.S. Roma midfielder Michael Bradley.
On top of that, Toronto F.C. went out and brought back Major League Soccer (MLS) veteran and Canadian striker Dwayne De Rosario, who had previously spent two-plus seasons in Toronto before being traded to the New York Red Bulls in 2011 and still holds the club record for career goals with 32 in 75 appearances.
But one has to wonder, will these new acquisitions actually help Toronto F.C.?
Sure, the names of Bradley and Defoe sound great when said aloud. But then again so did the names of Torsten Frings, Danny Koevermans and Robert Earnshaw… And we all know what happened there. I believe the term overrated would suffice in the case of each player, although Koevermans was the most useful with 17 goals in 30 MLS matches before injuries shut him down.
So the question remains. Will these big names actually do anything for Toronto F.C., or will they simply represent another sad, pathetic attempt at generating revenue?
In short, the answer is: Yes, they will definitely help out Toronto F.C.
Not only because TFC is one of, if not the worst team in the MLS with any addition being a positive one, but because Bradley and Defoe are not on the down side of their careers. Or rather, not as close to the end of their careers as Koevermans and Frings were when they joined the Reds.
At age 31 Defoe can still compete with the world’s elite in the English Premier League, as evidenced by his 15 goals for Spurs last season. It’ll be amazing to see what he can do in a full MLS season, where the competition is nowhere near as good as what he is used to.
Especially when he is regarded by Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood as “one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen.”
Sherwood’s words, not mine.
Keep in mind, however, that normally the addition of an elite level striker, although impressive, means nothing if the club he joins does not have players that are capable of getting the ball to him on a regular basis.
However, Toronto F.C. and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko did a great job in signing a player that is not only able to get the ball to Defoe regularly, but can himself put the ball in the back of the net.
The signing of 26 year old American star Michael Bradley is a vast improvement over any midfielder that TFC has employed in the past. As a matter of fact Bradley is better than all of the midfielders that Toronto has fielded in the history of their franchise.
De Rosario, on the other hand, is knocking on retirement’s door but is still a threat to score. That threat will be even higher this upcoming season simply due to the presence of Defoe on the pitch, as he’ll be given much more time and space to create offence should the ball find its way to his magical feet.
With these sigwnings it’s clear that, finally, the management of Toronto F.C. are making good decisions in the form of great signings with the hopes of bringing the MLS Cup north of the border to BMO Field and the greatest MLS fan base in the league (sorry, Timbers Army).